Crab Gratin

This tasty crab recipe makes a luxurious but simple starter for 2 and it is equally good as an easy canapé, for when you have friends round again. The method is identical for both, just leave out the potato skin prep for the starter version. Both can be made ahead and if you use the 'Seafood and Eat It' pots of crab meat, its almost a store cupboard recipe. Super easy, super make ahead and super delicious.


Ingredients - makes 20 canapés approximately - or starter for 2

For the canapé version

Small baking potatoes

Olive oil

Seasoning

For starter and canape

100g half and half crab meat (the 'Seafood and Eat It' pots are great for this)

15g butter, melted

1/2 tsp English mustard

1/4 tsp mace

Pinch Cayenne

2tsp lemon juice

Black pepper

1 or 2 spring onions, finely chopped


20g Grated parmesan

20g Breadcrumbs


2 medium sized ramekins for the starter version

Method

For the canapé version:

Heat the oven to 200°. Scrub and prick the potatoes. Rub over with a little olive oil. Bake for 45-60 minutes until they feel soft when gently squeezed.


Leave the potatoes until they are cool enough to handle. Then cut into halves or quarters, depending on the size. The potato pieces need to be mouthful sized.


(If the potatoes are larger there may be some waste, but the irregular pieces of potato skin are great to crisp up in the oven and use for dips or to just nibble on. The scraped out potato is ideal for mash and if you add a generous amount of butter, this will freeze well).


Scrape out most of the soft potato, leaving just a thin layer. Rub over the skins with some more olive oil and season. Put back into the oven, cut side up, on a greased baking tray for another 10 minutes. Then turn over and cook for another 10 minutes, until the skins are crispy.


For the starter and canapé:

Melt the butter and leave it a few minutes to cool. Then stir in the crab, the mace, lemon juice, mustard, black pepper and cayenne.


Fill the potato skins or the two ramekins with the crab mixture and sprinkle the mixed cheese and breadcrumbs over. Store in the fridge until required.


Bake for 10 minutes until piping hot. Sprinkle a little finely chopped spring onion over the top of the filled baked potatoes or the ramekins and enjoy. (I forgot the spring onions for the photograph - sorry). For the starter version, add some toast fingers and maybe a little salad on the side.



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